Requirements and Timeline


Students admitted to this program will register in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Courses pertinent to their different areas of study are listed in the Courses of Instruction of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and in the Divinity School Academic Courses page.

Full-time study is required during the first two years of the Ph.D. program. This means four half-courses during each term, with a minimum average grade of B. For tuition requirements, see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Handbook or the GSAS Guide to Admission and Financial Aid.

Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. in seven years. Only in unusual cases can the program be completed in less than four-and-a-half academic years.

The First Two Years


  • courses required for specialization
  • Religion 2001 (first term)
  • Religion 2002 (fourth term)
  • two additional courses outside the area of specialization


  • two modern languages of secondary scholarship
  • other languages as required for specialization

Second Year Review

  • to occur by the end of the fourth term

Year Three

General Examinations

  • to be completed by the end of the sixth term
  • teaching

Year Four

Dissertation Prospectus

  • to be completed within 12 months of taking of the general exams

Year Five and Following

The Dissertation

  • to be completed, normally, by the end of the seventh year
  • after approval of the prospectus, at least one chapter per year must be submitted to the advisor